Int. J. Biosci.15(5), 326-340, November 2019
Nutraceuticals is a broad term derived from nutrition and pharmaceutical. Nutraceuticals are foods or part of foods that play a significant role in maintaining many physiological functions to maintain the human health and in preventing and treating many acute and chronic diseases. Nutraceuticals are divided into three main categories including herbs, nutrients and dietary supplements. Several herbal products are produced from various herbs. Nutrients are substances with established nutritional values such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are essential for improving our health. The food products which are used as nutraceuticals are dietary fibers, prebiotics, probiotics, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, spices and some other types of types of herbs and natural foods. Probiotics are ingested for their positive advantages in the digestive tract or systemic area like in the liver, brain, vagina or blood stream. Antioxidants are very essential in the treatment of almost all diseases because most chronic diseases occur due to oxidative stress which mostly occurs due to aging and lack of dietary antioxidants. Flavonoids and phytochemicals have antioxidant properties due to which it act as therapeutic agents for various diseases such as anti-cancerous. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are used for lowering the high levels of cholesterol in cardiovascular diseases and many inflammatory diseases. The main focus of this review is on role of nutraceuticals in metabolic pathways for the prevention of various diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and cancer and osteoporosis.
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